DRG Battlefieldtours & Books

Airwar '40-'45 & Market Garden & Liberation 1945 Battlefieldtours

International Guild of Battlefield Guides in NL

Nine badged’ guides van International Guild of Battlefield Guides in NL

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  • Joris Niewint from Battlefield Explorer’ became in October 2020 awarded the 112th Badge of the International Guild of Battlefield Guides. This brings the total number of accredited battlefield guides in the Netherlands to nine. Worldwide there are – in spring 2022 – Sun 116 Badges awarded, with which the Netherlands is relatively one of the best represented countries within the GBG.

De Nederlandse ‘Badged’ GBG gidsen voorjaar 2019 in Arnhem bij elkaar: vlnr. Wybo Boersma, Edwin Popken, Luuk Buist, Willem Kleijn, Joris Nieuwint, Joël Stoppels en Dirk Hoekendijk. Bert Eikelenboom (Badge nr.79) and Roel Dekker (Badge nr. 95) unfortunately missing from the photo.

De eerste Nederlandse GBG – badge (nr. 39) has been since 2007 in possession of Wybo Boersma, former director of the Airborne Museum and nestor of the NL-GBG section.. De tweede badge (nr.61), awarded November 2013, heeft Willem F. Kleijn , owner of DRG Battlefield Tours & Books. A year later, Badge No. 71 assigned to Joel Stoppels from Battlefieldtours.nu from Groningen. Bert Eikelenboom from LiberationTour.nl from Groesbeek has been 2017 holder of badge nr. 79. Januari 2018 added to that Luuk Buist, die Badge nr. 85 opgespeld kreeg tijdens de jaarvergadering in Mons (B), en in mei 2018, Badge 87 for Dirk Hoekendijk van Arnhem Battlefield Tours Arnhem (BTA44.nl). In 2019 achieved Edwin Popken from Battlefielddiscovery.nl's badge (nr.93). More recently followed in 2020 Badge no.95 for Roel Dekkers, and finally Badge no. 112 for Joris Niewint van Battlefield Explorer.

Therewith Netherlands , that because of the liberation / Operation Market Garden still a lot mn. Engelse, Amerikaanse en Canadese battlefield – toeristen trekt, now equipped with no less than nine, officially recognized by GBG, Guides. In addition, the first three guides are also qualified as a "validator’ (examinator), that is an internal training program, and as a result, the Dutch section of the International GBG is one of the few outside Great Britain entitled to 'assignments’ (exam assignments) to take off.

Willem Kleijn: "The GBG badge is a certificate of competency as a battlefield guide assigned by your colleagues. So it is emphatically not a training. To get the Badge you must complete nine trials, three oral and written six. The candidates are assessed on various, clearly defined criteria such as, knowledge, use sources of, presentation skills, dealing with groups, attention to safety, etc.. The assessment criteria for this are laid down in the Accreditation – program to guarantee uniformity of assessment. That has the level of the English National Vocational Qualification Level 3 – that is a bachelor's degree GCE AS/A2 or BTEC National Diploma. I have done everything in English, but in principle you can also do it in your own language. But for that you need at least two qualified 'badged guides' as a validator, and we have it since 2018 in the Netherlands'.

De Int. Guild of Battlefield Guides is in 2003 founded in England by a group of Battlefield guides who on the one hand wanted to increase the attention for Battlefield tourism, on the other hand wanted to raise the level of the guides. There are no requirements for GBG membership, other than being active as a guide or historian. Most members are from England, but also in Ireland, Scotland, Canada, the United States, Italië, Full Day Normandy Tour, South Africa and Australia are members active.

Willem Kleijn: 'Battlefield Guide is not protected, anyone can call themselves so. However, that is no guarantee that the customer gets dished that meet minimum requirements a tour. In some European countries such as Italy and Fran Look, it is regulated: you can only call it a Battlefield guide if you have an education for it – sometimes even at the university level – have followed. If you do a Battlefield tour with an accredited GBG guide, you can be sure that you are dealing with a serious and knowledgeable Battlefield guide, someone who has not only thoroughly immersed himself in the subject, but who can also convey the information in an inspiring way,  who knows how to deal with groups of people, and who, for example, also has an eye for safety aspects'.

Many of the more than 300 GBG members worldwide are ex-military, but that's obviously not a requirement. Willem Kleijn: "There are people who only member interested in military history, but who do not want to be guide. From the approximately 120 Badged guides are currently available 76 listed on the GBG site as active guides with their specialization. But also tour companies, for example, can become a member. If they want to use the GBG logo as a quality mark, they also commit to a minimum 75% of their tours with accredited GBG – guides to run, So the knife cuts both ways'.

The GBG- badge

More information about the Int. Guild of Battlefield Guides can be found atwww.gbg-int.com